Ira Bowman joined the Auburn men's basketball staff as an assistant coach, head coach Bruce Pearl announced July 6, 2018.
Bowman comes to Auburn after spending the past six seasons at the University of Pennsylvania under head coach Steve Donahue. He was instrumental in the recruitment of team's top players and in the on-court development of the Quakers' perimeter players.
"When you're hiring a staff, it's all about surrounding yourself with people better than you," Pearl said. "Who can help these kids realize their full potential on and off the court? Who do I want to walk into a living room with and say to a parent that these are the men I want to surround your son with?
"Ira Bowman is a former Ivy League Player of the Year, a self-made NBA player, a great father and a true role model. Even though he is from the east, I think he fits the profile of an Auburn man to a T."
Last season, Bowman helped lead Penn to a 24-9 record, an Ivy League title and a return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 seasons. It was the Quakers' first conference crown since 2006-07.
"I'm excited to be a part of Auburn basketball," Bowman said. "It has a great future and I'm blessed that Coach Pearl has chosen me to be a part of that. Coming off last season's SEC Championship, I know the guys coming back have a lot to prove. This is a great, resilient bunch and I'm just fortunate to be a part of it.
"I'm also looking forward to working under Director of Athletics Allen Greene, who is going to spearhead Auburn basketball into the future."
Bowman guided seven all-conference players during his tenure at Penn, including three during the 2017-18 season, and helped lead the Quakers to 74 wins.
The Newark, N.J. native arrived at Penn after spending four years at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), where he assisted in one of the top turnaround jobs in the country. The year before Bowman arrived at NJIT, the Highlanders were winless (0-29), and in his first season, they went 1-30. After that, the Highlanders went 15-15 overall including a 9-3 Great West Conference mark in 2010-11. His final year, NJIT went 15-17 overall and advanced to the Great West Conference championship game.
Before entering the collegiate coaching profession, Bowman spent four years as director of the Assist by Knight Foundation. In addition, he has experience with several aspects of the NBA including serving as an administrator at the NBA's FIBA Tournament in Las Vegas as well as participating in the NBA's Player Development Assistant Coaches Summit in 2007.
Bowman played two years at Penn, the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons, after transferring from Providence College. In his first year with the Quakers, Penn went 22-6 overall and 14-0 in Ivy League play en route to its third straight Ancient Eight title. Bowman was Second Team All-Ivy that season.
As a senior, Bowman was the Ivy League Player of the Year and First-Team All-Philadelphia Big 5 as he led the Quakers to a 17-10 record that included a 12-2 mark in Ivy play.
In his two seasons at Penn and two campaigns at Providence, Bowman combined for 918 points, 228 assists and 139 steals.
Following his playing days with the Quakers, Bowman enjoyed a professional playing career that included stints with the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks. He also played overseas in Italy and Australia, as well as the Continental Basketball Association.
Bowman played his high school career at Seton Hall Preparatory School where he is still the school's all-time leading scorer. He scored 1,488 points in his career, including 19.6 per game during his senior season when he led the team to a 31-1 record.
Bowman and his wife, Rayna, have one son, Jeremiah.
Former Auburn standout Wes Flanigan has returned to his alma mater to join the men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach, head coach Bruce Pearl announced April 16, 2018.
Flanigan was most recently the head coach at the University of Arkansas Little Rock for the past two seasons.
“Auburn basketball is very fortunate to have been able to attract and welcome home a former great in three-time captain Wes Flanigan,” head coach Bruce Pearl said. “I‘ve known Wes and admired his work for many years as a competitor. Known as a hard-working, tough-minded, passionate basketball coach and teacher, Wes will make our student-athletes better on and off the court.”
Flanigan played with the Tigers from 1993-97 and was a four-year starter at point guard. He is the 22nd-leading scorer in program history with 1,228 points.
“Returning to Auburn is a dream come true for me,” Flanigan said. “I’ve always wanted to come back to Auburn to coach basketball at some point. I want to thank Coach Pearl and the staff for giving me this opportunity.
“I’ve followed the program from afar over the years. I know our program is at an all-time high and I am looking forward to helping this staff, these players and Coach Pearl continue the success that they have already established. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Flanigan finished his career second in the Auburn record books with 573 assists. He is also fourth in career free throws with 338 makes from the charity stripe.
The Little Rock, Ark. native was the Southeastern Conference individual assist champion in 1996 when he dished out 214 dimes for an average of 6.7 per game.
Flanigan was named All-SEC as a junior in 1996 and was a member of the All-SEC Freshman Team in 1994.
Flanigan returns to The Plains after two stints with Little Rock, most recently as the head coach for the past two seasons.
While with the Trojans for seven seasons from 2004-08 and 2015-18, Flanigan helped Little Rock achieve new single-season program records for wins, Sun Belt Conference victories and road wins.
Flanigan and the Trojans won their first-ever outright Sun Belt title during the 2015-16 campaign and knocked off No. 5 seed Purdue in the NCAA Tournament.
The Trojans won 18 or more games twice during Flanigan’s first run in Little Rock. In the 2007-08 season, the Trojans won 20 games while he served as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.
After his first stint at Little Rock, Flanigan was an assistant at UAB from 2008-10 where the Blazers won 47 games and matched a program record for wins a season with 25 set in the 2009-10 campaign.
Flanigan then went on to serve in the same capacity at Nebraska for two seasons (2010-12) before joining Mississippi State from 2012-15.
Flanigan got his first start in coaching at Northwest Mississippi Community College where he was an assistant coach from 1999-2004.
The 1992-93 Gatorade High School Player of the Year, Flanigan enrolled at Auburn and was a four-year letterwinner for the Tigers. He graduated with a degree in health promotion and was the recipient of the Cliff Hare Award, presented annually to the university’s top student-athlete.
He and his wife, Katrina, have three sons: Michael Lewis, Allen and Collin.
Steven Pearl, who was promoted to assistant coach on April 6, 2017, is entering his fifth year on the Auburn coaching staff.
In his two seasons as an assistant coach, Pearl has been instrumental in one of the biggest rebuilds - both on and off the court - in college basketball.
His duties on the bench include defense and in-game play calling. Pearl also has played a huge role in the development of Auburn’s big men to go along with a fervent recruiting strategy.
Pearl has been in charge of the team’s academics in one of the biggest success stories on campus. Since he arrived on The Plains in 2014, the Tigers have averaged an Academic Progress Rate of 995 (out of 1,000), which includes three perfect scores. In the previous four seasons, Auburn had an average score of 940.
The 2017-18 season was a record-breaking campaign as Auburn captured its third Southeastern Conference title in program history behind a 26-8 record, including 13-5 in conference play. The 26 wins were the second-most in a single season, while the Tigers accomplished 13 league wins for just the third time ever.
Auburn led the SEC wire-to-wire, leading from a Jan. 2 win at Tennessee until clinching the title March 3 in a victory against South Carolina.
Auburn made its ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history and first since 2003. The 2018 Tigers were the third team in the record books to have earned a 5 seed or higher.
Pearl helped coach four players who entered the NBA Draft, including center Austin Wiley, who was invited to the NBA Combine.
Big man Anfernee McLemore was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team after notching 73 blocks, the most by any player in the country to play in less than 30 games. Fellow post Chuma Okeke pulled down 197 rebounds in his first season on campus, the highest total by a freshman since Jeff Moore in 1984-85.
Pearl spent the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons as the director of basketball operations after his first year as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
As the director of operations he was in charge of team travel while also helping plan team practices, working with the team's academics and all of the Auburn Basketball Camps.
Pearl was a four-year letterwinner for his father, Bruce Pearl, at Tennessee, playing in 101 games from 2007-11. He helped Tennessee to back-to-back SEC East Championships in 2008 and 2009, with the '08 team winning the league by two games over Kentucky and Mississippi State. He also appeared in the NCAA Tournament each year he was a part of the program with the Volunteers advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2007 and 2008 and the Elite 8 in 2010.
Pearl, who was a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, graduated from Tennessee with a degree in Marketing and International Business in December 2010. He has also taken classes towards a graduate degree.
Following graduation, Pearl was a medical sales representative for Stryker Corp for three years before joining the Auburn staff.
Pearl played for West High School in Knoxville, Tenn., where he was an all-state and All-PrepXtra selection by the Knoxville News Sentinel. While in high school he led the U.S. Men's Basketball Team to a gold medal at the 2006 Maccabi Games in Sydney, Australia, an accomplishment he would repeat as a gold medal winner in the 2009 Maccabi Games in Israel.
Director of Operations
Chad Prewett is entering his fifth season on head coach Bruce Pearl's staff. In his four seasons with the Tigers, Prewett had had a variety of roles, most recently as an interim assistant coach for the 2017-18 season.
Auburn won the 2018 Southeastern Conference title, its third in program history, behind a 26-8 record, including 13-3 in league play. The Tigers also make their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance all-time and defeated College of Charleston in the first round.
While serving as an assistant coach, Prewett primarily worked with the team’s guards and played a key role in the development of the All-SEC backcourt of Bryce Brown, Jared Harper and Mustapha Heron. Brown was a Naismith Trophy Top 30 honoree and became the 36th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points.
Prewett also had a hand in scouting opponents and was tasked with running Auburn’s zone defense.
He returned to his role as director of basketball operations prior to the 2018-19 season, a role in which he held for a few months following the 2017 season. Prewett earned the promotion following three seasons as the special assistant to Pearl after joining the program in June 2014.
Prewett handles the team’s budget and travel, while spearheading numerous fundraising campaigns and events for the basketball program and Coach Pearl.
He is heavily involved with the Pearl’s AUTLIVE initiative to benefit cancer patients in the fight to beat cancer as well as the Bruce Pearl Fore the Children Golf Classic and Bruce, Barkley and Basketball Golf Classic. He directs all of the Bruce Pearl Basketball Camps.
Prewett also offers support in the Auburn Tip-Off Club, which resumed activities in 2014-15 following a two-year break and saw the highest participation in club history.
Prewett joined the staff following a seven-year run at Lee-Scott Academy, which began in 2007, as both the boys and girls basketball and track coach. He led the varsity boys basketball team to the 2012 AISA State Championship, a runner-up finish in 2011 and the Final Four in 2009 and 2010. Over the years, the Lee-Scott boys teams went 139-31. On the girls side, he led the program to four AISA State Championships (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013), a runner-up finish in 2014 and the Final Four in 2008 and 2010.
Five times he was named the AISA All-Star Game Coach, he was the 2009 AISA Coach of the Year and the OA News Coach of the Year four times (2012 - boys; 2008, 2009, 2011 - girls). He also coached the AISA Track State Champions in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Prior to Lee-Scott, Prewett was the varsity boys basketball and track coach at Faith Academy in Mobile from 2004-07. He led the boys basketball team to the 2006 AISA State Championship, the 2005 Final Four and was the 2006 AISA All-Star Game Coach and Coach of the Year. He led Faith Academy to a 63-21 record.
Prewett started his coaching career at Escambia Academy. From 1995-2004, he was a coach for the basketball, football, golf and track teams and added the title of athletics director from 1998-2004. Escambia was awarded the AISA Chairman's Award for Outstanding Program in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Prewett earned a bachelor's of science from Troy State University in 1994 in health, physical education and recreation and a master's degree in Foundations of Education in 2000. He and his wife, Tonya, have three daughters: Madison, Mallory and Mary Mykal.